In December of 2004 I left my home in Idaho with my family to go to Provo, UT to the MTC or Missionary Training Center. I had always wanted to serve a mission and after I saved up the money and turned 21 (the age women were allowed to serve at that time) I got the paperwork taken care of and mailed it in. Then comes the 2-3 week wait. The wait where you are always wondering where you are going to be called. You see we don’t get to choose. I studied French for three years in high school and Spanish for one year. I thought I’d get called to France. Honestly, I hoped I’d get called to France.
They say that if there is someplace that you want to go you generally don’t get called there. So every night for two weeks I tried to think of everywhere not just one place. I wanted to learn a language and go to a different country so in my thinking of places I made sure to include states in the USA. I didn’t want to jinx myself. Anyway, after two weeks my packet came and when it was opened it said Yekaterinburg, Russia on it. To be truthful, I never even once thought about Russia. I forgot it existed. Sad I know.
I went to the MTC on December 15th where I stayed for 12 weeks. While there I was learning Russian and how to approach people to share the gospel. We also have to wait for our visas. 12 weeks passed and we flew to Yekaterinburg, Russia. Now if any of you have ever seen the movie “The Best Two Years” then you might remember the new missionary saying “That isn’t the language I learned in the MTC” (I’m paraphrasing…I haven’t seen it in a while. That is how I felt. The Russian I learned was not what I was hearing in Russian.
So 18 months later I came home and I must admit that I fell in love with Russia, the people, the culture and the language. My grammar is awful but they seem to understand me well enough and I could understand them most of the time. I took classes in college and my husband actually was called to serve in the Kiev, Ukraine mission Russian speaking so he also speaks Russian. We used it a lot more when we were married but we don’t like people to feel like we are talking about them when we speak in public. So over the years we mainly use it so our kids wont know what we are talking about for birthdays and Christmas or where we want to go for date night, etc.
I downloaded an app on my phone called Duolingo a while ago to help me practice my Russian and to help rebuild my vocab since I have forgotten a lot over 10 years. Earlier today my daughter saw what I was doing and asked if I could download it on her tablet so she could learn Russian too. Well, of course. I had already started working with her off and on.
Well her Duolingo doesn’t support Russian on her tablet for some reason so we went with the next best thing: Ukranian. Why well because although it is different some things are the same and I figured “why not.” Then I decided to download Duolingo onto my tablet for her since I use it on my phone. So now she is studying Russian on my tablet and Ukranian on her tablet and she keeps asking me to help her with her Ukranian because she can’t always remember.
I guess I need to add Ukranian to my phone so I can keep up with her and so she has someone to practice with. Thus my head hurts 🙂
Have a good weekend.